Man receives criminal record after lying about speeding offence
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A man of previous good character now has a criminal record after lying about a speeding offence.
On the afternoon of 7 February 2020, a black Audi S3 was recorded by a speed camera travelling at 60mph in the 30mph zone on the A22 at Halland, East Sussex.
A Notice of Intended Prosecution was sent to the registered keeper, James Studholme, from Winchelsea.
The 23-year-old explained it was not his vehicle speeding, as he had different number plates. Studholme was therefore asked for photographic proof of his number plate.
He returned images of the rear number plate in such a way that it did not include the supplier’s name. He was therefore asked to provide further images.
Again, he returned images, which showed both number plates differed from those captured by the speed camera.
Enquiries were made with the number plate supplier, who confirmed the rear number plate had been purchased by Studholme on 9 April – after he was first asked for photographic proof – and the front plate was purchased on 27 April – after he was asked for further images.
At this point, it was clear he had purchased the number plates after the offence was committed in order to escape prosecution and to validate his explanation that his car had been cloned and sent them into the police.
Initially he believed just one number plate was needed to be purchased in order to supply proof of his "different" number plate. When he was asked for further images of all sides of his vehicle he then had to purchase a front number plate as well as the rear.
On 30 July 2020 Studholme attended Shoreham Police Station for a voluntary attendance interview, where he provided an alibi. This was followed up by police and confirmed to be false.
He again attended Shoreham Police Station on 4 March 2021 and was interviewed under caution. This time, he fully admitted the offence. He explained he had lied, had changed the number plates and lied about the alibi.
The matter was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which made a decision to prosecute Studholme for perverting the course of justice.
On 15 July at Lewes Crown Court, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and required to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.
He was also ordered to pay £85.00 costs and a £156 victim surcharge.
Chris Raynor, of the Sussex Police Camera and Ticket Process Team, said: “Studholme was of previous good character, but he now has a criminal record for a very serious offence.”
Studholme was convicted as part of Operation Pinocchio, which was launched by Sussex Police in 2016 with the following aims:
- To improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution;
- And to prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences.